To truly appreciate a yoga practice it is important to quiet the ego, and this is no mean feat. You need to be able to do this to progress and get the most out of your practice.
Firstly, let’s have a look at this word EGO and what it truly means. Most people use the word to talk about someone else’s, or their own, sense of importance, or self-esteem. We talk about someone being ‘egotistical’ in mostly a derogatory fashion. Originating from the 19th century latin term for ‘I’ it can sometimes be confused with selfishness, or being conceited and arrogant, however in this instance EGO is not to be confused with EGOTISTICAL.
So how can we quiet the ego so we can practice REAL yoga? Remember the it’s the latin word for ‘I’, so start to drop the ‘I want’, ‘I need’, or ‘I can’t’ thoughts from your head. Relish in the journey of yoga, rather than race towards the destination. For example, when you reach a asana that challenges you don’t think ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I need to be able to do this posture’ just bring breath and focus to the posture and slowly, slowly you will move through it and achieve it.
The popular, and often quoted phrase ‘all is coming’ or ‘practice and all is coming’ Pattabhi Jois coined is in particular referencing this.
I have such high expectations of myself (on and off the mat) that I have found this sometimes a challenge, far from being egotistical I veer towards a self-deprecating attitude, and this is still the ego controlling you…’I’m not good enough’ etc. My ashtanga journey so far has been both humbling and at times frustrating, but my best practices always – ALWAYS – happen when I let go of the ego and just BREATHE.
Try it next time you step onto your mat. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised.
Practice, quiet the ego, and ALL is coming